When it comes to kitchen appliances, nothing says modern and sleek like a beautiful new electric smooth top ceramic or glass cooktop.
While a smooth top beats a coil element type cooktop in the style department, it requires a different kind of proactive care to keep it looking good while at the same time preventing discoloration and scratching.
What NOT to do
With smooth top cooktops, it’s all about prevention. If you think of your cooktop as a delicate possession that requires your utmost protection, you’ll be way ahead of the game.
Cast iron or stone cookware
Do not use cast iron or stone cookware on a smooth top cooktop or range. It’s tempting I know, because cast iron works so well on a glass induction cooktop. Just don’t do it. Period. The bottom of these types of cookware can be rough, even gritty like sandpaper. Any movement on that cooktop can leave permanent scratches.
Do not drag heavy pots across a smooth top cooktop. Always lift to another area of the cooktop to reduce the risk of scratching.
Do not allow spills to sit. Clean up any spills and boil overs quickly. When cooking sugary substances, take care not to spill these on a smooth top cooktop. A sugar substance can discolor the cooktop, leaving yellowish areas that are impossible to remove. Clean up all spills quickly.
Use a stool
Do not stand on top of the cooktop to reach something high up or place anything heavy on a smooth top cooktop, even for a few minutes.
Do not place stirring utensils on a warm cooktop while you cook. Food on these utensils can mark or burn the cooktop, leaving a mess that will require a lot of time and effort to clean.
Do not place bakeware like casseroles, cookies sheets (from the oven) to cool on a smooth top cooktop. Place these items on a heatproof counter or cooling rack to cool.
How to clean
Here’s the rule: If you wouldn’t use it to clean your eyeglasses, don’t use it on your smooth top. Always reach for a microfiber cloth, blue Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch sponge, other soft sponge or cloth and a cream cleaning solution.
Commercial cream cleaners
Bar Keepers Friend now makes a Cooktop Cleaner (about $7 for a 13-ounce bottle) that gets rave reviews from manufacturers and smooth top owners as well.
Another highly recommended option is Cerama Bryte Cooktop Cleaner (about $7 for 28-ounces).
You may need to use a scraper or razor blade to remove really tough burned-on substances. Please be careful! Using an inappropriate tool, or using the right tool incorrectly could add to the misery. Werxrite RetraGuard Scraper for glass and ceramic stovetops is the right tool. Read the instructions carefully.
If you have burned-on spots and difficult areas that you just can’t get clean, I suggest you invest in a Cerama Bryte Glass Ceramic Cooktop Cleaner Bundle. The kit includes cleaning pads, mini-razor scraper and microfiber cloth—and specific instructions for how to get your cooktop back to its beautiful self. Check out the remarkable reviews.
Homemade cream cleaners
Option #1. Make a paste of 50/50 baking soda and Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid. Stir until smooth. Using a non-abrasive, soft sponge to work this cream in circles over the entire cooktop. When you’re done, rinse with a wet towel followed by a microfiber cloth to polish the glass surface.
Option #2. This is for tough spots and any stuck on food that spilled while cooking. Combine 1-cup water and 1-cup white vinegar in a spray bottle. Add 10 drops of lemon essential oil. Shake well. Once the cooktop has cooled, sprinkle baking soda directly on the tough spots. Spray the baking soda with the vinegar mixture. Wait until the baking soda stops fizzing and wipe clean with a very soft cloth or blue Scotch Brite Non-Scratch sponge (please don’t sneak in a green Scotch Brite because it will scratch the glass), using the texture of the powder to scour off the grease. This will not scratch the surface. Repeat as needed until you’ve taken care of any tough spots.
The natural oils and acids in food cooked on the stovetop can leave behind dark or light stains on the surface. Restoring discoloration from a ceramic cooktop involves proper cleaning. Follow these steps to get your cooktop back to looking new.
Apply a cream ceramic cooktop cleaner (see above) once the area cools. Rub using a soft scrubbing pad made for this purpose (the Cerama Bryte Ceramic Cooktop Cleaner Kit comes with 5 cleaning pads), rubbing deep into the stain. The abrasive nature of a scrubbing pad that has been designed specifically for a glass cooktop helps release the stain to remove stubborn discoloration. Wipe the area with a wet paper towel or microfiber cloth.
It’s best to never allow your cooktop to get scratched. Still, if you have scratches that are visible and visually annoying, you may be ready to bring out the big guns. An automotive scratch remover (you won’t find anything better than Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound) is designed to remove scratches and leave a clear-coat, glasslike finish. Apply the automotive scratch-removing compound with a soft cloth, and buff the scratch gently. Allow the scratch remover to dry, and then wipe off the compound with a dry cloth.
Word to the wise
Always test any product or technique for any purpose for which you do not have previous experience in an inconspicuous place, first. Please.
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